“I’ll be gone,” I tell him. “In less than a month or two, I’ll be packing my stuff and leaving.”
I watch a slow frown draw itself on his face as he hears me intently. His eyes blink slowly and from the heaps of books spread out in front of him, he looks up and meets my gaze.
“You’ll leave forever?” he asks.
Shrugging, I flip a page of the ruled notebook that lies in front of me and put my pen there. Closing it, I sit back on the chair and sigh.
“Not really,” I tell myself that it is the truth, but deep inside, something hurts. “I mean I’ll return twice or maybe thrice in a year. It’s not like I’m leaving forever.”
He nods his head carefully and looks down at the fluttering pages in front of him.
“Things are happening so fast!” I exclaim. “I remember waking up to August afternoons and cribbing. I wanted to leave sooner. The boredom was killing me. Each day, I’d put my books aside and tell myself that there’s still so much time! But look, it’s nearing April already! It seems like it was just yesterday when I was waking up to late mornings, lazily sipping on a mug of coffee and whiling away my day.”
His eyes are focused on the page but he nods slightly.
“Only four years to this date, you’d be thinking about this too. You’ll be done with your school and preparing for college already.”
“Right, four years,” he mumbles. “It’s all happening too quickly.”
I nod in agreement.
Leaning further back into my chair, I think of the glorious days of the year I had spent with my family. Each night, we’d sit at the dining table and hear Mom and Dad’s events in the office. Each morning, we’d wake up amidst hesitation and grogginess, wishing the darn alarm would let us sleep for five long minutes only. Each afternoon, we’d make ourselves steaming bowls of noodles and settle in front of the TV to watch a movie.
But all that is about to change. In a few months, I’ll be far away from this home. And it filled me with utter sorrow.
“And after college, you’ll return back?” he asks.
I shake my head slowly.
“It scares me,” I tell him. “After this, home is a far away thing. You have to stand up on your own, get yourself a job, live on your own, cook your food, wash your clothes. From this point on, I’ll be so far away.”
“It sure is happening too quickly,” he remarks.
“Every tomorrow that dawns, I want to go back. I really want the clock to stop. I want time to pause. Right now, it’s running too fast and I have yet to slowly lose myself in every moment. I want to touch everything and imprint its every crevice in my brain. I want to smell that musk of the attic and trap the scents in my brain. I want to make lasting memories so that I won’t miss all this so much.”
“I’ll miss you,” he says.
My lips quiver. My eyes feel heavy. And my heart holds a profound pain.
In that one moment that is weighing me down, I can only think of a dialogue from a favourite show of mine:
“It is the oldest story in the world. One day you’re seventeen and planning for someday, and then quietly, without you ever really noticing, someday is today and that someday is yesterday and this is your life.”(One Tree Hill)
Silently, wiping the slight trail of a tear that had managed to escape, I turn around and look down at my books again.
“It’s late. Let’s study,” I say.
“One last question though,” my brother interrupts. “Is it really happening so quickly?”
I wish I could tell him otherwise.